Report: Default rates for consumer credit fall in March

The end of the first quarter marked a period of improving consumer finances, as default rates on several types of consumer loans decreased from the month before, a report details.

According to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, the default rates for first and second mortgages and auto loans declined notably in March from February, with the national composite rate slipping from 2.09 to 1.96 percent during that time.

"The first quarter of 2012 was largely positive for the consumer," managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Indices David M. Blitzer said in the report. "Not only have we resumed the downward trend in consumer default rates that began in the spring of 2009, but we appear to be reaching new lows across most loan types. The first three months of 2012 show broad based declines in default rates with first and second mortgage, auto and composite default rates all reaching post-recession lows."

Bank card loans were the only type of consumer credit to experience growth in its default rate, which spiked from 4.41 percent to 4.47 percent on a monthly basis, according to the indices.

In terms of the five major metropolitan statistical areas S&P and Experian monitor in the report, all but Los Angeles experienced declines in default rates. New York, Chicago, Dallas and Miami all saw their rates of default slide from February.

Blitzer was quick to point out that Miami's consumer default rate improved markedly from February, the same month in 2011 and since the recession came to an end.

"Miami dropped almost a full percentage point, from 4.54 percent in February to 3.62 percent in March," he said. "While it still remains the highest default rate, Miami is the other city to hit a post-recession low."

Despite the positive report, many consumers still need a credit fix to get their personal financial situations in order. Hiring a credit repair company can be a helpful solution for many Americans looking to get their credit back on track.